((Mitch Settles continued from The Awakening))
Mitch moved slowly away from the asylum, looking for cover wherever he could find it. He wasnt sure why he did this, but some sort of natural survival instinct was kicking in and he wasnt about to ignore what his gut was telling him. He had decided the bridge might be a good place to reconnoiter the island as it would give him a good vantage point to view several key areas. It also provided access to other places he might want to be, and gave him options and right now, options were good. He had in mind the hunting lodge or the housing blocks, or maybe even the vehicle depot; could be he would find a bike or something he could fix up, to what end, he didnt know.
It wasnt far to the bridge and even with his excess of caution it soon came into sight. He stopped there, observing, watching for movement, fearful of what he would see or that he would be seen, not even knowing why he was so scared. He waited some more, not willing to move, to allow himself to steady his nerves. Mitch had never felt this way, not even before an important race or dangerous stunt. He thought about this, the fact he had always been a daredevil, willing to risk life and limb (literally, as it had turned out) to experience the thrills allied with extreme sports. How was this different? What made this island, his classmates, feel so dangerous to him? He concluded this wasnt at all the same as the sports he had loved so much; this wasnt for thrills, or self-aggrandizing glory. This was for keeps. His classmates werent competitors, at least not in the sense that there would be trophies and prizes. No, they were potential killers, wanting only to take him out of this dangerous motherfucking game. This, then, was the reason for his apprehension; to some, maybe everyone, he was the prey. Bullshit! He was no ones target, nobodys chump. Mitch never, ever played to lose.
Losing. Mitchell Settles never went into motion with any thought of losing. What that meant here, the consequences of not losing, was that he was the winner. Last man standing. All others, his friends, classmates, girls and boys alike, dead. Some, undoubtedly, by his hand. He would be a killer, if he didnt want to lose. He would use the Glock to take out (kill, he would have to kill) someone he knew, perhaps a friend. Probably friends. He was beginning to grasp the enormity, the devilish conundrum created by the terrorists. Their conspiracy was to make kids into killers, pure and simple. Why didnt matter. Sure, he wondered, but now was not the time to unravel motives, now was the time for him to act.
Mitch moved out from cover, his right hand clenching and unclenching near the Glock tucked into his belt. He felt both apprehensive and exhilarated. But he was prepared, physically and, he hoped, mentally to face whatever happened next. He took his first determined steps onto the bridge, looking ahead to the other shore, behind for indications of stalkers, and side to side to scope out whatever he could see from this vantage.
((Lillian Lily Caldwell continued from Heel-And-Toe.))
Lily had yet to find somewhere safe.
Of course, there would be no safety. Not on this island. But somewhere she could hide, or protect herself from or
That something was really starting to get to her. She hated any plan that had vague steps, and as long as her plans stayed vague her survival would be running on nothing but fumes.
But she had decided to cross the bridge for two reasons. The first was what Lili had told her. That trading had been happening here. She doubted that was still happening, but it was worth checking. In case someone was willing to trade their water.
The second was that the asylum was on the other side of this area. A lot of kids would head for the asylum, but there was likely to be a room she could block up. It was unlikely other kids would try to break in if they just thought a room was locked, and shed be
not safe, but safer than she was out in the open.
Although, shed also be boxed in. But still, as long as she knew an exit was possible
Shed stopped at one end of the bridge for a while, regaining her energy. That was the big risk here. There was nowhere to escape to on a bridge. Nowhere except down. So she waited until she had as much energy as she could summon up. Drank a little bit of waterjust a bitand ate some of one of the ration bars while waiting.
Then she took off at a jog across the bridge. Would have been a run, but she still had a bag of supplies dragging her back, and if she ran shed wind herself long before the end.
As it was, she was already breathing heavily when she got near to the other end and saw Mitch.
She knew Mitch. He worked on Robotics like she did. Smart. Creative. Also bigger. Older. And unlike everyone else she'd met so far, the way he was looking about actually suggested that he was on his guard. If she had a list of who she wouldnt want as an enemy on this island, Mitch would likely be up there. He had his hand near his belt
He had a gun.
The moment Lily noticed the gun, her thoughts short-circuited as that horrible wave of fear she'd felt when she thought Jasmine was armed coursed through her again.
But her feet just kept going. She clutched the mirror shard to her chest, like it would deflect bullets.